Navillus Contracting Inc.
There are few markets in the United States or even the world that are as fast-paced and competitive as New York City. Since 1987, Navillus Contracting Inc. has been proving that it has what it takes not only to survive but to thrive in the crucible of the Big Apple, and Executive Director of Operations Colin Mathers says the company has a prominent position in the marketplace because of it.
“I’d say we’re one of the leaders and in a very good position at the moment,” he says.
Navillus Contracting specializes in concrete superstructures and substructures, high-end commercial and residential masonry, tiling and stone, and has completed numerous successful projects throughout the New York metropolitan area. Its clients include Morgan Stanley, The New York Times, Apple, Bloomingdale’s and Ralph Lauren. The company’s current work includes the world’s largest memorial waterfalls at the site of the former World Trade Center. Mathers says the company has more than a dozen contracts at the site totaling more than $200 million.
Navillus Contracting has bolstered its capabilities to put it in an even better position to serve the market in the near future. “We’ve had a very successful 25 years so far. We have come through the recession and we are moving with the times,” Mathers says. “We are looking for ways to improve.”
Attention to Detail
Mathers says the single most important element in the company’s success has been its attention to detail. One of the biggest challenges that comes with working in New York City is that margins have to be extremely tight to stay competitive, and so Navillus Contracting has to squeeze every last bit of inefficiency out of its projects. That process begins before the company even sets foot on the job site.
“What we really do is we look at cost savings and how we can actually do the job as best we possibly can and give them a quality project and a quality finish job,” Mathers says. “We’re dedicated to giving a top-class finished product.”
Two of the main reasons why Navillus Contracting can guarantee a high-quality project to its clients are its estimating and design departments. Mathers says these departments contain some of the most experienced professionals in the industry, who work closely with clients to ensure that the finished product meets and exceeds expectations. Office Manager Mike O’Sullivan adds that the company’s use of advanced computerized drawing software gives it the ability to walk clients through their projects before any work is done in the real world.
The company’s experience in estimating gives it a level of flexibility that is virtually unmatched in the industry, O’Sullivan adds. This proves to be most useful when clients adjust plans in the middle of the process. “As they change their project scope, it affects their budgets, and we’re willing to do whatever’s necessary,” he says.
Another key distinguishing factor for Navillus Contracting is its safety record, which O’Sullivan says is one of the best in the industry thanks to the company’s customized safety plan. Developed in partnership with consultant U.S. Compliance, Navillus Contracting’s plan is enforced by an independent safety inspector on every job. Mathers says the company was among the first in the New York market to adopt safety measures such as vertical protection systems and multi-plane scaffolding.
Building on Success
Navillus Contracting’s dedication to quality can be seen in the many high-profile projects it has completed throughout New York. For the Trump Village housing complex in Brooklyn, the company installed four types of marble imported from Spain, Italy, Portugal and Japan in the complex’s ground-floor lobbies. At Madison Square Garden, the company poured new reinforced concrete stairs and installed granite treads and tile landings.
The company’s experience working in the city’s subway system earned it the opportunity to help restore the 66th Street Subway Station in Manhattan. According to the company, Navillus Contracting built new masonry underpass walls and installed new decorative tile, all while the station was in use by commuters.
Mathers says Navillus Contracting sees good things on the horizon. The company has expanded its estimating department by more than 200 percent in anticipation of the work it sees coming in the near future. Being flexible and open to new ideas is another quality that Mathers says will help keep Navillus Contracting on top of the industry for years to come.
“Because we came into the concrete industry more recently, we’re more adaptable to some of the new techniques,” Mathers says. “We learn every day and we improve every day.”